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from the editors That Nagging Feeling fter spending a few days with intermittent but alarming bouts of pain, my friend Robin ended up at the ER needing an emergency appendectomy. Later she read up on what symptoms she should have been paying attention to beforehand, and this one caught her attention: "a persistent belief that something is wrong." She exclaimed to me, "Are you kidding? That's how I feel all the time!" I had to laugh, but I also had to agree. I think most of us spend much of our lives convinced there's something wrong, but we can't quite put a finger on it and we're not quite sure what we should do to prepare. The trick is to be mindful without being overwhelmed. Deans understand that balance all too well. Even when everything at their schools seems to be running smoothly, they can't completely relax. They don't know when a new competitor will decide to open a satellite campus nearby or when a star faculty member will decide to jump ship. They constantly have to monitor the types of programs they offer and the delivery formats that make the most sense, while continually raising money from donors, enhancing their schools' global presence, and making sure their facilities are up-to-date. And they have to be prepared to act quickly whenever some internal or external force changes their current situation. In this issue of BizEd, we talk to seven deans who have confronted recent challenges and determined how to overcome them. For instance, Lisa Toms of Southern Arkansas University needed to start an MBA program from scratch. Kai Peters of Ashridge Business School had to revamp its entire structure to provide better customized executive education programs. Alice Guilhon of SKEMA oversaw the merger of two French business schools with similar visions but different cultures. While each challenge seemed daunting at the outset, each dean found a solution that worked. In this issue, we also take a look at a new kind of dean—one who comes from business rather than academia. In "Crossing Over," Wake Forest's Steve Reinemund, Ohio State's Christine Poon, and Virginia Commonwealth's Ed Grier talk about the perspectives they brought with them from the C-suite to the dean's office. As a bonus, former business school dean Carolyn Woo describes how her years at Notre Dame prepared her for a new job as head of a massive NGO. Like their academic counterparts, these executive deans understand how to strike a balance between the present and the future. They might not have a persistent sense that something is wrong, but they have an unshakable belief that they must always be prepared for whatever comes next. Follow us @BizEdMag 6 January/February 2014 BizEd JOSH LU N D/G LOW I MAG ES RAQU ITA H E N DE R SON A

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